On an unrelated note, I ran this morning for the first time in two weeks. Oh. My. God. I felt every step and nearly puked twice. Did I mention that once summer hits (and it has), the air turns to water around here? I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep this up come June and July when the early morning temps are over 70, but I’ll do what I can.
So this morning (after the nausea inducing run), I cut a thousand words from DOTH. I always hate doing this, but the first half of the scene I was working on yesterday was really just a rehash. It had turned into a Little Darling, you see. A moving scene between hero and his mom (whom I love). But…it really wasn’t advancing the plot. So…snip snip.
And then on the drive to work I sorted out the best way to approach the scene and spewed out a couple hundred words when I got here, just to keep it fresh. So, win win. There is a strong possibility that women will come after me with pitchforks for doing what I’m planning to do to this hero…
Over the last several years, I’ve developed a healthy respect for my gut because it usually tells me when I’m headed in the wrong direction. Well, it’s a combination of my gut and my brain’s refusal to give me anything useful. If I spend more than a day or so staring at a scene trying to figure out what to do with it, I’m usually doing something wrong. It means some pruning back to the last thing that DID work, and then stuff usually sorts itself out in short order.
How do you know when you’ve gone astray from where your plot needs to go? Do you have a gut sense? Do you listen? Or are you more inclined to muscle through to the end and then go back and fix it in revisions? I’m always curious about other writers’ processes.